- There were significant improvements at a micro-system level, where participant sites saw improvements in patient safety in specific clinical areas, such as a ward or critical care unit.
- The initiative was effective in raising awareness and galvanising action around the issue of avoidable harm to patients.
- The programme was successful in engaging senior managers whose support and enthusiasm helped to make safety an organisational priority.
- However, at an organisation-wide level the evaluation found no additional impact of the programme within the timeframe.
This learning report provides an overview of the Safer Patients Initiative (phases 1 and 2) and its evaluation, and highlights the impact of the programme, key lessons and further issues for exploration.
Key lessons include:
- a wider set of methods and approaches is needed to affect patient safety at an organisational level
- the scale of resources needed to make organisation-wide change should be appreciated
- there is a need to make changes at every level of the system, from policy to deep engagement with professionals
- time is needed to deliver and embed improvements.